For a writer, stumbling upon a great story idea on a trip is nothing short of a delightful happenstance.
It’s perhaps pure serendipity that a writer and a story idea find each other. But such serendipitous encounters also occur very rarely. Most the time a great story comes from months of preparation, research, and creativity.
Keep an eye out for anything that catches your interest and can be transformed into a story.
The lone monk standing on the rubbles of Durbar Square seeking alms, the delicious street food that goes beyond dal bhat, or the growing cafe culture in Kathmandu – all of them are potential story ideas.
Another great way to hunt for ideas is to read local English-language newspapers. These include The Himalayan Times, The Kathmandu Post, as well as magazines like The Nepali Man and Wave.
Earthquake-related stories have been reported by almost every single outlet around the world, so it’s a good idea to look for follow-up stories. There are many and the world is ready to hear it.
Over and above the Everest and climbing-related stories, there are quite a lot of offbeat trekking and adventure travel stories waiting to be told.
Though mired in issues related to lack of public infrastructure and sanitation, Kathmandu is still a buzzing metropolis. Under its chaotic surface are interesting personalities waiting to be profiled.
After you find your idea and decide on your story, approaching your subject while you are still in the country is a good idea.
In general, Nepalis are not shy of talking to a tourist – for years, they’ve seen way too many of them. They wouldn’t mind being photographed either. However, the universal rule of thumb applies – though it’s not always possible, ask whenever you can before pointing your camera at a friendly face in the crowded market.
Most urban Nepalis speak English, but language is always an issue. If you’re asking complex questions or looking for nuanced answers, hire an interpreter.
However, as splendid as its prowess is, keep in mind that it’s also prone to battery death.
Pack your power bank to save yourself from the embarrassment of your phone dying down midway through an interview.
For a writer or journalist, it’s never an easy task to report tragedy, let alone bearing witness to millions suffering from a large-scale tragedy like the Nepal earthquake. Travel writer Prathap shares his tips on how to stay respectful of your subjects and take care of yourself.
From bumpy mountain roads to landslides, roadblocks, and the scariest runways in the world, our local insider provides the low-down on transport options and what to expect when visiting this incredible country.